We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A national treasure? True!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Benn Diner

Blue Benn Diner
318 North St, Bennington, VT 05201
802-442-5140
Improve this listing
Ranked #4 of 64 Restaurants in Bennington
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $8 - $15
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch
Dayton, Ohio, United States
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“A national treasure? True!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

When planning our western Vermont run-out, I posted to facebook asking for don't miss recommendations in the area. A friend named this diner and called it a national treasure; I second his opinion. We stopped for lunch on our way to Middlebury, and liked it so much we planned a lunch again on our return trip.

The diner itself looks grubby outside, but inside it's a gorgeous diner built in the early 20th-century. They're quite proud of their heritage here and the menu provides a detailed history. So while the outside looks a bit ratty, the interior is, though worn in places, a masterpiece of a diner-car style room. There's blue tile, lots of brushed gleaming metal work, a counter with stools for 17, and 7 booths each seating maybe four if you're all slender.

They mess up the decor, though, in one major way. The management seems to enjoy printing menu items on colored paper, laminating, and taping them behind the counter on the lovely metal trim up near the domed ceiling. The metalwork is thus entirely obscured by all of this paper, none of which is particularly worth reading since, after all, they have a menu where the information is better organized. Can anyone convince them to tear that trash down and let patrons enjoy the decor?

OK, that's my only rant. Service was fine, prompt and full of the grace that we found everywhere in west Vermont. They maintain an old-style juke box with remote stations in each booth, and the selections seem eclectic. Visit their rest rooms and you pass by the kitchen door, which is left open--they have nothing to hide, the place is kept clean.

My wife settled, both times, on their grilled cheese sandwiches--the first time with tomato, the second with ham. She declared them exellent. My first lunch was from the all-day breakfast menu; the Sir Benn omelette--I thought, what better to try than the one they named after themselves? Well, it was worthy of the title "Sir"--a noble thickly rolled French-style omelette embracing a skinless chicken breast, cheese, and perfect broccoli florets. The potatoes on the side were also terrific. On the second stop, I went for the veggie chili--they have a large vegetarian menu--and a side of onion rings. The chili was as good as any veggie variety I've ever tasted, a perfectly spiced blend of beans, summer squash, corn kernels, tomato base, topped with a good melting of queso. It was joined by a flaky jalapeno corn muffin, the peppers just present enough to notice but not to burn. Obviously the onion rings were hand-cut and battered in-house, and they were deep fried in fresh oil at the right temperature to give a crispy exterior and soft center.

So here we've got a place that has some honestly competent cooks with a flair for turning out some not-entirely-traditional diner fare, an interesting and well preserved historic facility, and Vermont charm. Note that their dinner hours are over early--I think 5:00 on weekdays and 4:00 on Sunday--so unless you're an early dinner person, think breakfast or lunch. Frankly, I don't know how the Subway shop across the highway from them makes a living--why would any local want to get a carry-out from anyone but the Blue Benn?

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

267 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    154
    75
    20
    6
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Gahanna, Ohio
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Nice Local Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

This was a restaurant enjoyed by the local people; therefore that usually means it has good food! It was an authentic diner with a large number of interesting food choices. The food was good, staff friendly, and well-worth a visit.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Worth Trying”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

We were touring New England and came upon this place. It is an authentic Diner with friendly staff, juke boxes on each table, booths, seats at the counter etc. and a typical diner menu. We had the meatloaf and mashed potato which was great. I really recommend this place if you want a feel for the USA as it was.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa Bay, fl
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A Bennington Tradition”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

A trip to Bennington would not be complete without a trip to the Blue Benn. They have endless choices of yummy meals. I am a huge fan of the pumpkin muffins!! Normally crowded but worth the wait.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Crowded local's place for a very good reason.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

Whenever we visit a new town, we ask locals where to eat. We were told that Blue Benn has the best breakfasts in Bennington. People from Vermont don't lie. The diner was crowded, with people lined up for a booth on the "honor system". It works. It also isn't necessary because you can skip the line if you're willing to eat at the counter. Do it. This breakfast is too good to wait.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Blue Benn Diner also viewed

Bennington, Green Mountains
 
Bennington, Green Mountains
 

Been to Blue Benn Diner? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Blue Benn Diner, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.